Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.V.
(1) Thus.—And. This verse is identical with 1Kings 7:51. (The chronicler has made three slight corrections of the older text.)
The implements.—Or, vessels. The word all is omitted by some MSS., and by the LXX., Syriac, and Arabic. “The holy things of David” are identical with “the silver and the gold and the vessels.”
NATIONAL CEREMONY OF THE TRANSFER OF THE ARK INTO THE TEMPLE.
(Comp. 1Kings 8:1-11.)
The chapter is an almost literal duplicate of the parallel text. The desire to explain and abridge accounts for such variations as are not due to the transcribers.
Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.(2) The chief of the fathers.—Rather, the chiefs of the clans (father-houses). Vulg., “capita familiarum;” LXX., τοὺς ἠγουμένους πατριῶν.
Elders . . . heads.—Or, sheikhs . . . ameers.
Zion.—Syr. and Arab., Hebron.
In the feast which was in the seventh month.—Heb., in the feast; that (is) the seventh month. The words “in the month of Ethanim” (Kings) have been accidentally omitted before the expression rendered “in the feast.” The Authorised version suggests another mode of emending the text. (Comp. Nehemiah 8:14.) Syr., “in the month of the fruits (’ebbô) of the feast of Tabernacles; that is the seventh month.” The LXX. had the present faulty Hebrew.
And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.(4) The Levites.—Kings has the priests; and so Syr. and Arab, here; but LXX. and Vulg., Levites. The latter term, as the tribal name, may of course be used to include the priests or Aaronites, as well as their inferior brethren. 2Chronicles 5:7 shows that the priests are intended here.
And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.(5) These did the priests and the Levites bring up.—Heb., the priests the Levites (which some explain “the Levitical priests,” as in Joshua 3:3) brought them up. But some Hebrew MSS. LXX., and Syriac, read “the priests and the Levites;” Arab., “the Levites and the priests;” and Vulg., “the priests with the Levites.” Above all, 1Kings 8:4 has, “And the priests and the Levites brought them up.” It appears, therefore, that the conjunction is rightly supplied by the Authorised Version.
Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.(6) Assembled.—(Nō‘ad, to meet at an appointed time and place, Exodus 25:22). Not the same word as in 2Chronicles 5:2-3 (qāhal), of which the root meaning is probably to call together.
Before the ark.—By the omission of a single Hebrew word [’ittô] before this phrase, the whole form of the sentence is altered from that of Kings. There we read “(were) with him before the Ark sacrificing,” &c.
And the priests . . .—The verse is wholly identical with 1Kings 8:6 (see Notes there).
For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.(8) For the cherubims spread forth their wings.—Rather, And the cherubim were spreading forth wings. Kings has for (kî); making the sentence an explanation of the last clause of 2Chronicles 5:7.
Covered.—Kings has the technical term for the cherubim “covering” the ark (Exodus 25:20; 1Chronicles 28:18). In Hebrew writing, the difference is marked by the transposition of a single letter. Perhaps, therefore, our present reading is a clerical error.
And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day.(9) And they drew out . . . were seen.—Rather, And the staves were so long that the tips of the staves were seen. &c.
From the ark.—1Kings 8:8, “from the Holy Place.” So the LXX. and four Hebrew MSS. The priests in the great hall could see the tips of the staves projecting within the Holy of Holies; but persons outside (“without”) of the great hall could not see them.
And there it is unto this day.—And it (the ark) remained there unto this day. So Vulg., “fuit itaque arca ibi.” LXX., Syr., Targ., Arab., They—i.e., the poles were there; and so some Heb. MSS., and 1Kings 8:8. This is no doubt right. A letter has fallen out of the Hebrew text. That the chronicler has preserved this remark without modification to suit altered circumstances, and indeed that the compiler of Kings did the same long before him, is a striking instance of the way in which Oriental historiographers are content to borrow with literal exactitude from the works of predecessors, even in cases where such borrowing appears to the modern mind infelicitous.
There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.(10) Put therein.—Heb., which Moses put—in Horeb. Kings is fuller and clearer: which Moses placed there in Horeb. The chronicler has substituted “put” for “placed;” perhaps remembering Exodus 40:20 : “And he put the testimony into the ark.” The word shām, “there” or “therein,” has fallen out of the text.
When the Lord made a covenant.—Which (the two Tables i.e., the Covenant) the Lord covenanted with the sons of Israel. (Comp. 2Chronicles 6:11 : “the Ark wherein is the covenant of the Lord,” 1Kings 8:21.)
And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:(11) For all the priests.—From this point to “for his mercy endureth for ever,” 2Chronicles 5:13, the narrative is peculiar to the chronicler. He has characteristically inserted between the two halves of the short verse (1Kings 8:10) a long parenthesis, dwelling upon the Levitical ministrations.
That were present.—That could be found. So Vulg. (Comp. 2Kings 19:4.)
Were sanctified.—Had sanctified (or purified) themselves, for the purpose of taking part in the ceremony (1Chronicles 15:12).
And did not then wait by course.—They had not to observe courses (1 Chronicles 24). Not merely the class of priests then on duty, but all the classes indiscriminately took part in the solemnity.
Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)(12) All of them of Asaph . . . brethren.—Heb., to all of them, to Asaph, to Heman, &c., &c., and to their sons, and to their brethren. This use of the particle le (to, for) is characteristic of the chronicler, whose style in these verses stands in marked contrast with the former part of the chapter. As to the Levitical guilds of musicians, comp. 1Chronicles 25:1-7; 1Chronicles 15:16, seq.
Arrayed in white linen.—1Chronicles 15:27.
Having cymbals and psalteries and harps.—With cymbals and nebels and kinnors (harps and lutes, or guitars). (See 1Chronicles 15:28.)
Stood at the east end of the altar.—Were standing east of the altar.
And with them . . . trumpets.—And with them priests, to a hundred and twenty, were trumpeting with trumpets. (See 1Chronicles 15:24.)
An hundred and twenty.—Thus five to each of the twenty-four classes of the priests.
The mark of parenthesis should be cancelled.
It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;(13) It came even to pass . . . thanking the Lord.—And the trumpeters and the minstrels were to sound aloud, as one man, with one sound, in order to praise and thank the Lord. This ends the parenthesis-
Their voice with the trumpets.—Rather, A sound with trumpets, &c.
That then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord.—Omit that (1Kings 8:10). “Then the cloud filled the house of the Lord.” The LXX. reads, “with the cloud of the glory of the Lord; “the Vulg. simply, “so that the house of God was filled with a cloud.” (The Syriac and Arabic omit 2Chronicles 5:12-13.) The unpointed Heb. text might be rendered, “the house was filled with the cloud of the house of the Lord;” but the Authorised Version is preferable; the phrase, “the house of the Lord,” being added as a sort of climax. (Comp. 2Chronicles 4:21, ad fin.) So Reuss, “Le temple se remplit d’une nuée, le temple de l’ Eternel.” The emphatic word is Jehovah, of whose presence the bright cloud was the standing token.
So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.(14) House of God.—Kings, “house of the Lord.” See 1Kings 8:11, and 2Chronicles 7:2, infra.
Stand to minister.—Take their places, or approach to minister (2Chronicles 6:12). The Syriac adds here, “Ended is the first half of the Chronicles.” Before 2 Chronicles 6 it writes, “The second half of the Book of Chronicles.”